Is Gulf Oil Spill’s Damage Over or Still Unfolding?

BP oil spill. Photo source: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley.


Published research suggests the BP spill hurt wildlife, wetlands and Gulf marshes in countless ways, but as with virtually everything connected to the 2010 accident, scientists say it’s simply too early to tell about the long-term damage. And because the spill hit marine and estuarine systems already facing pollution and erosion, it can be difficult to document changes and isolate causes.

“A storm event or high tides or hurricanes will reemerge that buried oil and spread it around,” says Overton, the chemist. “That’s going to keep going on until all that oil is gone…”

Read Full Article Article, National Geographic

Where Did Deepwater Horizon Oil Go? WHOI (10-27-2014)
A seminal paper published in 2012 estimated that of the 200 million gallons discharged into the environment, half never surfaced to form slicks but remained trapped deep in the ocean. Researchers have just completed a study on how much of that trapped oil rained down to the ocean floor, and where it fell…

5 Years after Deepwater Horizon, Wildlife Still Struggling Dolphins Dying in High Numbers; Sea Turtles Failing to Nest, Science Daily (03-31-2015)
A new report looks at how twenty species of wildlife are faring in the aftermath of the disaster…

Impact of Deepwater Horizon Oil on Beach Microbial Communities, Science Daily (02-18-2015)
Researchers studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill on communities of beach microbes saw a succession of organisms and identified population changes in specific organisms that marked the progress of the oil’s breakdown…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (04-14-2015)
The dispersant used to remediate the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is more toxic to cold-water corals at lower concentrations than the spilled oil, according to a new study.

Oil Dispersant Used in Gulf Oil Spill Causes Lung and Gill Injuries to Humans and Aquatic Animals, University of Alabama at Birmingham (04-06-2015)
New research suggests that Corexit EC9500A, an oil-dispersal agent widely used in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, contributes to damage to epithelium cells within the lungs of humans and gills of marine creatures…

Scientists find damage to coral near BP well, (11-06-2010)
For the first time, federal scientists have found damage to deep sea coral and other marine life on the ocean floor several miles from the blown-out BP well, a strong indication that damage from the spill could be significantly greater than officials had previously acknowledged…